Palestine in Athens IBBY Congress & IBBY’s Honour List

Monday 12 April 2021 by Rania

A few days ago IBBY successfully ended its interesting thirty sixth Congress in Athens. More than five hundred participants attended from around the world. The theme of the Congress was “ East Meets West through Fairy Tales”.

Three members of IBBY Palestine participated in the Congress: Jehan Helou, President of the National Section, the prominent writer Sonya Nimr and Haneen Khairy from Tamer Institute. Haneen gave an interesting presentation through a Poster Session about the experience of the Tamer institute in publishing the comic books a tool for educating children around the world on contemporary humanitarian and social issues.

The contribution of the children of Gaza was distinguished through the large textile Banner that has some of their illustrations including in the midst, the Palestinian flag.

Many of the children wrote about their love for their IBBY library, its importance in their deprived and difficult life, and their pleasure and acquired habit in reading books. The title of the Banner was Thank you IBBY: Reading is our Joy! The Banner was presented at IBBY’s General Assembly; it included a short PowerPoint presentation of some of what the children wrote; it was read by the president of IBBY Wally de Doncker.

The contribution of Palestine IBBY was important within the distinguished books which were promoted to be in IBBY’s Honour List (HL) 2016-2018. The HL is considered among one of the most important activities of IBBY and it includes distinguished books from the 75 national Sections of IBBY around the world.
The goal of the HL is to provide quality books for the children and to promote the mission of IBBY in encouraging reading and multicultural exchange through children’s literature. The HL is for best writing, the best drawings and the best translation are chosen.

The HL was announced officially in the main hall of the Congress in an attractive PowerPoint presentation of each book accompanied by lively music. Hard copies of the winning books were exhibited in the Congress.
All the winning books were published in a booklet and posted on the website of IBBY. It will be exhibited in the next two years in many book fairs and in some IBBY branches around the world.

The Palestinian winners are:

Mahmoud Shukair “I, My Friend and the Donkey” for best literary writing.
Sameh Abboushi, for Illustrations of the book “the Box of Wonders”, for the best Illustrations.

A Team at Tamer Institute, for translation of “A Small Kiss on your cheek”*, for the best translated text.

*This book is composed of literary text, stories, poems and illustrations presented by famous artists and personalities around the world in solidarity with Palestinian people in Gaza after the Israeli fascist aggression in 2014.

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